Daily 49er

Long Beach housing crisis on the rise

With rent steadily increasing in Long Beach, many residents are just one paycheck away from being homeless.

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As California’s economy continues to rise, the cost of living in Long Beach has steadily increased by 30 percent over the past three years. According to Housing Long Beach representative Benyamin Chao, in a major city where 60 percent of residents rent, this creates major problems for the community.

According to Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes, poverty in California is the state’s number one issue because it has the highest poverty rate in the nation. Rent Cafe, a website that investigates the average rent market trends, states that the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Long Beach is $1,688.

Housing Long Beach is an organization that fights for rent control in the city, according to Chao, who was representing the group at Cal State Long Beach’s Week of Welcome. Their goal is to combat the rising number of displaced residents by getting rent protection measures on the November 2018 ballot.

“One thing we want from rent control measures is to avoid landlords being able to evict people without notice,” Chao said. “In most major cities, landlords have to give reason for eviction, but not in Long Beach.”

The group not only aims to lower housing prices, but they also want the city to require landlords to maintain buildings and to refrain from drastically hiking up prices for tenants.

According to Chao, the organization conducted a survey and found that 70 percent of renters would support some sort of renter protection measure.

“I get they want to make it nicer, but it would be nice to be able to afford to live [somewhere],” said Amelia Le, a freshman business major.

In addition, the LA Times reported in 2017 that Los Angeles County’s homeless population reached 58,000 despite attempts from support services to find housing and resources for these people.

The Housing Long Beach website states that the city’s diverse population is not well represented by politicians, adding to the gentrification crisis.

In order to combat homelessness amongst the student population, the university has created the Student Emergency Intervention and Wellness Program, which the Daily 49er has previously reported on.

The program uses a holistic approach to serve students through the Student Emergency Grant, which is immediate aid in the form of money, the Meals Assistance Program and the Short-Term Housing Program. This three-pronged approach is a part of the CSU Chancellor’s Office Basic Needs Initiative to help students in a time of emergency or crisis situations.

“Off campus living is really expensive,” said Veronica Casas, a senior speech and language pathology major. “I feel [the university] could maybe look into having an area close to campus similar but not exactly like the dorms for students.”

The university targets the most vulnerable students, according to the program’s website, so that their housing and food needs are met. This is done so that students will focus on their health and education, rather than worrying about where their next meal will come from.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Long Beach housing crisis on the rise”

  1. Althea Waites on February 8th, 2018 1:02 am

    Although I am not a student, I have been seriously affected by the constantly rising cost of rental housing in Long Beach and the situation has not improved. Property owners throughout Los Angeles County can charge whatever the traffic will allow,so to speak,and they can also do it with no regard or consideration for frequency in terms of rent increases.
    I am pleased to note that CSULB has a program to help students in crisis situations with financial aid and meals,something that is desperately needed during these challenging times.

    Gentrification is another cause for concern because it has forced many people who have lived in communities for several years out on the streets, and real estate developers could care less about the fact that we have close to 60,000 people who are currently homeless; they only care about how much money they can acquire from the latest building deal.
    I also think that a rent control initiative would be a good start on getting some protection for tenants,and we must make a stronger effort to elect people who are committed to fighting for the working poor instead of wealthy constituents. This is a cause that everyone can support.

  2. Student Renter on February 8th, 2018 11:55 pm

    There’s action that students can take! Come to the Rent Control Campaign Kick-Off on Sunday, February 11th at MacArthur Park on Anaheim at 12 PM! They’re collecting signatures for the rent control and just cause for eviction ordinance! As this article expresses, we are in a housing crisis in Long Beach, and we need to fight to get housing for all.

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